Grand Central Terminal; image via Wikimedia
Last year, when Amtrak first announced eight weeks of infrastructure repairs at Penn Station, all hell broke loose. Gov. Andrew Cuomo predicted the planned work would cause a “summer of hell” for commuters and even asked President Donald Trump for emergency federal funds. But, to the surprise of many, the disruption proved to be mild and the repairs even finished ahead of schedule. Promising another painless process, Amtrak announced on Tuesday plans for track work at Penn Station again this summer. From May 26 to Sept. 4, trains that run along the Hudson River will be routed from Penn Station to Grand Central. Schedules for Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North trains will remain unaffected.
Amtrak workers setting concrete on track 10 at Penn Station, image via Amtrak
As part of Amtrak’s Infrastructure Renewal program, major reconstruction will occur this summer on three “major railroad infrastructure assets” in the city, including the Empire Tunnel, the Spuyten Duyvil Bridge and Penn Station’s Track 19. The project, which will build upon the work done this past winter, is expected to cost between $45 and $50 million.
Work on the Empire Connection and Spuyten Duyvil Bridge will cause trains along the Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express, Adirondack and Maple Leaf routes to be rerouted from Penn to Grand Central. Plus, there will be no direct service between NYC and Chicago for the first time since 1971. The Lake Shore Limited will temporarily only operate between Boston and Chicago, with New Yorkers having to transfer at Albany-Rensselaer to reach the Windy City.
Amtrak will replace three turnouts and replace wooden ties at Penn Station’s Track 19 from June 8 to July 20. Fewer service and schedule changes are expected, compared to last summer.
“Amtrak is continuing to prioritize updating the infrastructure in and around New York Penn Station to improve our service reliability,” Scott Naparstek, the executive vice president of Amtrak, said in a statement.
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